Submitted to: Mid Atlantic Plant Molecular Biology Society Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 2009
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Through a gene-for-gene interaction, Hessian fly larvae induce in their wheat plant hosts either resistance or susceptibility. If the plant carries an appropriate resistance gene, it recognizes larval effectors and induces a low-cost resistance response that includes production of toxic lectins and reinforcement of its surface cells. As a result, microvilli in the larval midgut are damaged and the larvae are unable to establish permanent feeding sites. However, if larvae are able to attack without triggering the plant’s surveillance system, they can block resistance, even if plant resistance has already been induced in adjacent by a previous larval infestation. The induction of susceptibility leads to changes in plant cell permeability associated with loss of cuticular waxes and cutins, blockage of cell repair mechanisms and activation of pathways that deliver nutrients to the larvae. The spreading of this nutritive tissue is able to rescue even genetically avirulent larvae if they are located in close proximity to virulent larvae that induced the plant susceptibility. Molecular events leading to these changes will be discussed.